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Old 12-23-10, 12:54 AM   #1
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Default DC electrical sub-system

Does anyone have a DC electrical sub-system in their house? If so, what is the voltage and what is it used for? I don't mean just a PV/wind-to-inverter setup, what I have in mind is a DC system that actually powers something directly, like electronic gadgets.

I've been thinking about setting up a DC system in the house, partially to directly power electronics (bypassing the transformer and its efficiency losses) and lights (I've heard that low voltage DC is more efficient for lighting), and partially as a backup for power outages.

What voltage would be best? Many electronics use 12V internally, but some use 5V, 8V, 16V, etc. Would a DC-to-DC converter be more efficient than the transformer+rectifier already installed? And if I want a battery bank with higher voltage (24V or 48V), then is a DC-to-DC converter the only way to get 12V out of it, or is it possible to wire the batteries in such a way (with diodes, maybe?) that taking 12V is possible?

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